Sunday, January 24, 2021

Faith that rejoices to do good

 

The writing of James is very uplifting

He begins with joy and ends with singing praise. In between is a commentary on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sermon on the mount was wisdom teaching and James calls on us to seek, ask and live by wisdom which is from above. Like that recorded in the Gospel by Luke, Jesus and James have a low opinion of riches. Both describe the snares that come with seeking to be rich or clinging to riches.

Faith is central to James's praise. Jesus was his half brother and as boys and younger men, James did not have a high opinion of Jesus.  But now after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, James calls Him the Lord of glory. But James's faith was much more than theological, to him, to believe, was to obey and follow. Jesus did good works, and so every one who genuinely believes in Him will do the same. James points to the care of orphans and widows and at the end of the letter, the faith that turns an unworthy sinner back to God.

The Lord Jesus spent much time on the mountain top praying. So James exhorts – "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!"

The NLT has a beautiful rendering of Matthew 5:3

"God blesses those who realise their need of Him"

James restates it his way:

"When you bow down before the Lord, and admit your dependence on Him He will lift you up and give you honour."

May I encourage you to read this letter from James, read it right through highlighting to links to the teachings of the Master, the Lord of Glory.

 

John Mckee

PS You may notice that I seldom give references – Purposely I am trying to encourage you to read the whole letter and see these truths in context.

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